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February 21, 2006


boy, i hear you about the high cost of yarn. i'm getting ready to start my first pair of socks and get this...it's going to take 3 skeins of $11.50 yarn = $34.50 socks!!! crazy! i have used the chain store cheapy yarns but part of the fun of knitting for me is to enjoy the beautifully made yarns. i've ordered online but didn't find any good deals. i'll be interested to see what other people say! maybe it's time to buy some sheep...

congratulations on your blog birthday!! i have no idea when mine is and it's come and gone by now. so glad to have your blog!

Re: knots in yarn. I usually untie and act as if I'm joining a new ball of yarn. As for the high cost of yarn. That's a real dilemna. I guess you have to go with your heart and do what feels right to you. I buy some form local shops and some online. And many online shops are actually small shops too! Many run by women out of their homes. You can feel good about shopping with them :)

Happy blog birthday! And your f-i-l's scarf is beautiful.

Re: Where to buy yarn
My co-worker just told me about a company (knitpicks.com) that works directly with mills to provide yarn at reduced costs. I haven't tried ordering from them yet - since I have a stash of yarn that I promised myself I would use before buying anything more. But, my friend likes them and I saw yarn for $3/skein.

I agree with Julie and untie when there is a manufacturer's knot. I learned the hard way when I ignored the knot half-way through a row of 200 stitches and the darn thing popped open when I encountered it on the next row. Also, you should make the join at the beginning of a new row when possible. And yes, yarn is expensive. I've heard good things about Knitpicks.com although I haven't (yet) ordered from them myself. Their yarn is very reasonably priced but you won't find the name-brands there since they package yarn under their own label. Otherwise, wait for sales at your LYS or try eBay if you are looking for a particular brand and color. I've also learned that it's not worth knitting with the cheap (aka local craft store) yarns - if the yarn feels icky when knitting, the item will feel icky to the wearer. Remember too that you are creating a handmade, one-of-a-kind item and it should be worth it to spend money on the materials.

I just finished a scarf using noro's yarn as well and had two of those knots during the course of the project. I did not untie--just continued knitting, and I do wish I'd gotten rid of the knot instead.

One thing I like about purchasing my yarn from a local shop is that when I run into a problem or have questions about a certain part of my project, I feel comfortable stopping in and having someone in the shop help me get past it.

Your scarf is beautiful. Good luck with your sweater class.

Haha! Isn't that the way of it - reading someone else's site to find out it's your blog anniversary too! Something that would easily happen to me.

Congrats on your first year! I love coming here and hope you keep inspiring us and making us laugh.

Happy Blogaversary! Wow, last February was hoppin'! Elann sometimes has good deals, if you are willing to go with unusual colors. I have a wool allergy, but I really like Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece, it comes in all kinds of colors. Unfortunately, not so cheap. I don't know why some people seem to think that knitting is the thrifty way to go.

Congratulations! It's really fun to read your blog so thank you for keeping it up.

Regarding knots in yarn, I'll agree with previous comments. Undo it and join as if it was a new skein.

Happy blogaversary!
I untie knots as if starting a new ball, except when the work is to be felted/fulled.
As for choosing between yarns suppliers, I buy Norwegian yarns and "everyday" yarns in local yarn stores. If I want something special or crave something expensive, i buy it online. Obviously there are more types to choose from online, also there's more to save on the costly yarns.

Happy blog birthday!! I've really enjoyed reading your posts over the last year! As for yarn, I often use KnitPicks, they have nice, fairly cheap yarn. And about knots: I usually untie them (or cut them out), and then join as usual.

Hi Kelly, Happy Blog Bday. And thank you for this post - as a beginnier knitter who has not progressed much beyond scarves I have the same questions.

Congrats on your first blogiversary!

Hi there, I have been a quiet admirer of Buzzville for a few months, but as it's your blog birthday AND you are asking questions close to my heart, how could I stay quiet? :)

I too like knitting with something nicer than craft store yarns, but I simply can't afford $100-$200 for an adult sweater. My favorite yarn manufacturers for value (and that use natural fibers) are Dalegarn, Brown Sheep, Reynolds, Plymouth, Cascade, and Knitpicks, as several people mentioned. Keep in mind that some of these companies sell the yarn in 100g balls for the same price as other brands sell 50g balls, so you are getting about twice the length and will need to buy less balls. If I'm buying at a local store, I usually look for these brands. As far as online retailers, Elann is a good discounter (there are definitely weird colors sometimes, but not always!), and there is also Wool Needlework Discounters, Discount Yarn Sale, and Webs, which has its own inexpensive yarn label, a good closeouts section, and gives 20%+ discounts on orders over $60. (Personally, I have had no luck with eBay. There is very rarely a lot just the right size for my project, and I am picky about color.)

Okay, whew! That was long. But I hope you find it helpful!

Happy Blog Birthday! And I'll echo, for the most part, others' answers. I really like knitpicks for their classic fibers and cheap prices. I've tried shopping at Elann and other discount places--but I've found that the limited availability lights up the "sale" center of my brain and leads to unnecessary purchases. Knitpicks is consistant, so I know that if I don't buy something today I can always come back tomorrow. I also buy from my LYS--I've gotten to know the owner and it's worth the extra money sometimes to go to her shop. Luckily it's a small shop with limited selection, so a lot of the time I can't get what I want from her and I don't feel guilty about going elsewhere.

No recomendations about cotton yarn--but one warning as you're looking for a bulky cotton. Cotton tends to be a lot heavier (weight-wise not heat-wise) than wool, especially in thicker yarns. Whatever yarn you find, try a small quantity first before starting work on a big sweater. :) Sometimes cotton blends with synthetics avoid the bulk problem, and actually end up feeling nicer than a pure cotton.

Congratulations on your blog birthday!!

Happy Anniversary Kelli! It's been a wonderful year getting to know you and I'm looking forward to many more :)

Happy Blogiversary! That scarf looks great! Worth every penny and every minute of your time! No recs on online places to buy or on yarns, but with knots, yeah, I handle those just like it's a new ball. Except with a bit more cussin' and fussin' since it's unplanned (and sometimes results in me having to undo some stitches).

Happy Blogiversary!!

hi there! i've had great luck finding wool at thrift shops - it's sort of a hit and miss type thing and only really good if you're willing to have a stash and not search for stuff for specific projects. i've found bags with 6 - 10 balls of the same wool for $3.99 on more than one occasion plus huge skeins for $1.00. usually the wool still has the label on so you can check the fiber content, too. it's so fun to have a brilliant find and start schemeing about what to use it for - highly recommended!

Sign up for email updates at Elann and you'll get a heads up on what's coming & when so if there's something you're really interested in you can jump on it - their prices are fantastic on discontinued premium brands.

Also sign up for the mail lists at on line retailers whose selection you like, for instance, The Knitting Garden has a great selection of Rowan, Noro, Debbie Bliss and others. They'll send you email notification of sales & occasional coupons (10 or 20% off). The yarn still might be pricey, but every little bit of saving helps. Another online site (and my wonderful local LYS) ,Knit Happens, posts online sale info on their blog from time to time. So it definitely pays to find retailers you like and keep up with them.

As for ebay, there are some british re-sellers of Rowan, Jeager, Noro etc. that I've purchased from in the past. They sell both current and discontinued premium yarns at good discounts (be sure to figure in shipping to your total). Jannette's Rare Yarns & Cucumberpatch are a few I've bought from. Mostly they sell full 10 packs, but sometimes by the ball as well for "buy it now" prices.

One word of caution in online yarn buying, after a few disappointments, I'll never make a big online investment in yarn that I haven't seen live and in person - photos and monitors distort color and you never know how it's going to feel up close and personal.

As for a cotton recommendation, I LOVE Rowan All Season Cotton. It's got a beautiful color range, and a few cream/color variegated colors each season.

Happy Knitting

Happy Blogaversary! Beautiful scarf too! What a great gift.

I struggle with spending the ridiculous prices that there are out there for yarn myself so I've gone to tearing up old sweaters and reusing the yarn in my own projects. I can't remember the website that I got the idea from but here's a good site that explains it pretty well http://www.neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html. I just go to thrift stores and get sweaters really cheap and this makes me feel less guilty if I just have to buy a more expensive yarn EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. You can still support your local businesses while saving money too. It's also very satisfying tearing apart the sweaters and winding them up into little balls to be reused in some other project!

I've bought quite a bit of yarn online, but I'm leaning more toward buying locally. One, because I actually HAVE local yarn stores opening up around me in the last few years and I'd like to support them. Two, because I've made too many mistakes about color choices when ordering online. Alot of what sits untouched in my stash is yarn that I ordered because "it's such a good deal" but then the color isn't what I expected it to be. So much for being a deal.
As for large quantities of Noro (anything more than a skein or two) or other high-end yarns, I'm afraid online is the only way to go, but only after seeing the colorways in person.
Knots? Same as above.
Love the scarf.
And Happy Blogiversary!

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